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On Writing Chase Scenes

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Author of The Frugal Editor, the winning-est in her award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

This article is excerpted from some editing I did for a writer of experimental fiction when I was on a Greater Los Angeles Writers Society panel writer of any genre can apply these suggestions to the chase, getaway, or high action scene in your script or manuscript before you send it to an agent or publisher or, better still, while you are writing the first draft. 

Sometimes even the most fascinating, interesting and irresistible detail can slow down the forward movement of your story. So as much as writers are told that detail is important, purge as much as you can from your action scenes and put it somewhere else or dribble it into narrative in other places in your manuscript. In the process, ask yourself if your reader really needs to know the color of the protagonist’s eyes. As important as detail is, some is better left to the imagination of the r…
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The Superhuman Experience - a live facebook event!

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She found the courage

Read more. "The most important investment we can make is in our children; therefore, I'm thrilled my messages are presented to children in The Surprise Circus." –Les Brown, motivational speaker.from the Foreword When the circus doesn't come to her town, six-year-old Aria is disappointed. She calls the ringmaster of the circus and asks him to send the circus, but he doesn't. Instead, the craziest things start to happen!

Every week, the ringmaster sends Aria a package—each containing an amazing circus character. But Aria has to put the circus characters in the backyard because each one does something very silly that upsets her mommy and daddy: the magician hides her baby sister, the strongman lifts all the furniture, and the juggler throws everything, even her baby sister, in the air, and the fire eater burns the curtains.

The circus people ask Aria to become their ringmaster, but she isn't sure she is brave enough to speak in front of lots of people. Aria star…

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Riddle: How Are Freedom of the Press, Wordiness and Christmas Connected? by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

This article was written in 2017 not for the recent Coronavirus.


I love to share writing tips, marketing secrets and editing aids,but I’m adding something new to my fave list. Something more serious. It’s freedom of the press.
So, what inspired me? 
Well, a couple of months ago the White House issued a list of words that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shouldn’t use. It bothered me then and it bothers me even more now that we just experienced a near epidemic of flu in this country! (My husband and I are both part of that epidemic. Neither of us has had the flu or a cold for over 40 years and this one has been a doozy!)
The LA Times(Tuesday, Jan 16, page B2) used this as a lead for the story: “’It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.’ George Orwell writes in the fifth chapter of his dystopian novel, 1985.”
I love the novel the Times chose to quote, but I have always been too optimistic to give its dystopian theme much credence. And now here we are in the middle of a d…

Repeat after me

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